Seattle native Lamb is a homecoming hero
SEATTLE -- D-backs manager Chip Hale called Jake Lamb the calmest guy on his team before Monday night's game. Some guys get too amped when they play in their hometown, and some guys perform better, Hale said. He hoped an even-keeled Lamb would be the latter.
He got what he was hoping for. In front of some 90 family members and friends, Lamb, a Seattle native who played his college baseball at the University of Washington, hit a sacrifice fly to center in the 10th inning to drive in Paul Goldschmidt with the winning run in the D-backs' 4-3 win over the Mariners.
"Goldy's one of our best baserunners," Lamb said. "It got up and I saw where the center fielder was and I was assuming that it would be enough, and it turned out to be enough."
Many of the 19,532 on hand at Safeco Field went silent when Arizona scored its fourth run of the game, but a tiny cheer went up behind the third-base dugout, where a few of Lamb's family members were sitting.
"I could hear that. That was cool," Lamb said. "I wasn't sure how many people were going to be here mixed with people supporting me, so it was cool."
Lamb, who went 0-for-2 with two walks, a run and the RBI, said he was nervous to start the game, but calmed down when he saw six pitches from Mariners starter Mike Montgomery and drew a walk.
At that point, Lamb said he tried to enjoy the experience.
"I like looking around no matter where we are," Lamb said. "I had family in the very first row on the third-base side, so I was looking around, waving at them between innings. I was having some fun with it."
The RBI from Lamb came a half-inning after D-backs reliever Oliver Perez allowed a single to Mariners catcher Mike Zunino to tie the game, 3-3, in the ninth.
"It's a tough one," Hale said. "You have them tie it in the bottom of the ninth and for our guys to come back against their closer [Carson Smith] and create a run was huge. It shows you how resilient they are."
Lamb grew up on Queen Anne Hill but hasn't lived in Seattle since he was drafted in the sixth round by the D-backs in 2012. His trip to Seattle has returned him a bit to his youth.
He stayed at his family's house on Sunday night, had breakfast with his family on Monday morning and was dropped off at Safeco Field for Monday's game. On Monday night, he came through in the clutch to beat the team he grew up watching.
"That was cool it worked out like that," Lamb said. "It was just a big win and having everyone here was really special. I'm really happy."